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FRA 'disappointed' in US Illegal Timber Imports
FRA has said it is ‘disappointed’ to hear that the US is still regularly importing illegally logged timber from the Amazon rain forest.
By: Peter Collins
A recent long-term research study by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has found that millions of dollars worth of timber has been imported into the US by over 20 US-based businesses since 2008.
The report stated, "Exporters in Peru and importers in the United States and around the world are currently integral parts of a systematic flow of illegal timber from the Peruvian Amazon.”
Peter Collins, an analysis partner at research and analysis consultancy FRA, said, “We are disappointed to learn that illegal logging is still seen as OK among so many US businesses, who are willing to support the trade in timber that has been sourced from vulnerable forests.”
Although the report claims that “sheer negligence” is somewhat to blame, US firms should see sustainable sourcing of timber as an obligation, claimed FRA. Mr Collins added, “It’s not difficult these days to source sustainably produced timber and it doesn't have to cost the earth.”
FRA supports projects like the FSC scheme, which clearly labels sustainable timber to help consumers make the right choices when buying timber products.
The EIA investigation was carried out over several years and found that US firms illegally laundered and imported 112 shipments of protected mahogany and cedar from the Peruvian Amazon between 2008 and 2010 alone.
The report does not hold back, stating, “Sometimes intentionally, sometimes through sheer negligence, each of the actors and agencies involved in this system are working as gears in a well-oiled machine that is ransacking Peru's forests and undermining the livelihoods and rights of the people that depend on them.”
FRA supports sustainably managed forestry schemes in Latin America, such as the plantations runs by Greenwood Management in Brazil. US investors are able to invest in these projects, helping them to thrive and reaping the financial benefits of growing timber prices, explained FRA.
About Forestry Research Associates
Forestry Research Associates is a research and advisory consultancy that focuses on forestry management, sustainability issues and forestry investment around the globe.
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